“I was scared at every turn”

"I was scared at every turn"

Forced to abandon the Tour de France due to covid, Enric Mas was almost relieved to leave the Grande Boucle, given the ordeal he experienced during the descents, as he told Cycling News.

Fifth in the Tour de France in 2020 and sixth in 2021, Enric Mas was logically an outsider for the Tour de France 2022, but the Spanish rider did not exist. The 27-year-old Spaniard was only in eleventh place, 24 minutes behind Jonas Vingegaard, when he had to retire due to a positive covid test on the evening of the 18th stage. However, it was not the coronavirus that was the cause of his difficulties, but his fear of downhills. Indeed, the Movistar rider had suffered three big falls during the first part of the season, and this traumatized him. ” The tour of France ? I prefer to erase it from my memory. From start to finish it was awfulhe says in an interview with Cycling News. I felt like I was riding a bike for the first time. I started to panic. I was scared at every turn. Doubts creep into your head and then take over. Your head is telling you that you have to brake in the turns that you normally take at 80 km/h. The time I was wasting has become secondary to me. The important thing was my safety, as there were times when I could barely control my bike. When I gave up, the Tour was almost irrelevant to me. I wanted to finish and I was annoyed not to, but I was already thinking about the Vuelta. »

Resurrection on the Vuelta

La Vuelta, precisely, he finished it in second position, behind Remco Evenepoel! A performance that he owes to the psychological work carried out during the month break between the Tour de France and the Tour of Spain, with specialists. “After the Tour, I disconnected for a few days, then I got to work. There was a month between the Tour and the Vuelta and it was a month of hard work. The psychologist and the downhill expert, and my coach all worked hand in hand and helped me a lot. In Andorra, where I live, there are a lot of mountains and every time you go up you have to come down. It was about repeating the runs, then stopping and looking at how you rode them, what you did right and what you did wrong. Then go back up and start again. When you lose confidence, you have to get it back, and a lot of that comes down to technique – how to approach turns, how to distribute your weight. Little by little, we reversed the situation. I had no idea how covid was going to hit me, but luckily I recovered well and was back in one of the best shape of my life. And on the Vuelta, descents were no longer a problem. On his way, Enric Mas also finished second in the Tour of Lombardy to end the season. What promises good things for 2023?

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